Opie collection of children's games & songs

Recording of children demonstrating songs and discussing playground games with Iona Opie and an interview with Frances Smith from North Carolina, USA (part 2 of 4)

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  • Subjects

    Children's games; Children's songs

  • Recording date


  • Is part of (Collection)

    Opie collection of children's games and songs

  • Recording locations

    London, England

  • Interviewees

    Smith, Frances (speaker, female)

  • Interviewers

    Opie, Iona (speaker, female)

  • Speakers

    unidentified (children)

  • Abstract

    Part 2 of 4. [00:00:00 - 00:33:21] This recording continues to interview children from the American School, London. The recording contains their singing games, clapping games and skipping songs, alongside a brief description of a chasing game that employs high imaginative content. The recording starts with a group of girls performing the song 'Bluebird' and they explain that they learnt this song in their music class [00:00:00 - 00:00:35]. They also perform 'I'm Going to Kentucky' [00:05:35 - 00:07:56] and the Scout and Brownie song 'Ging Gang Gooly' that the girls learnt while attending a Scout camp for American children in Faphasel Wood, England [00:29:27 - 00:31:15]. The children perform a number of clapping songs. These include 'All the Girls in France' [00:11:40 - 00:12:08]; 'When Billy Was a Boy' [00:08:20 - 00:11:38] and [00:22:57 - 00:27:55]; 'Miss Susie had a Steamboat' [00:12:20 - 00:14:12]; 'Miss Mary Mack' [00:21:20 - 00:22:42]; 'When Pinocchio was One' [00:27:23 - 00:28:29]; 'When Susie Was a Baby' [00:28:30 - 00:29:21] and 'Under the Bram Bush' [00:31:22 - 00:31:44]. Iona Opie and the children also discuss skipping songs and the girls perform 'Down in the Valley' although some of the lyrics are inaudible [00:01:00 - 00:03:36]. A girl then explains to Iona a skipping game that she calls 'H.E.L.P'. To play the game, the children must skip while the rope is turned and the letters called out. If they trip or land on a certain letter, they must then perform a certain action that accompanies it. For example, if they land on 'H' they must do 'fast skipping' and if they land on 'P' they must close their eyes and hop [00:04:00 - 00:05:30]. The girl then tells Iona that she will be holding her own 'jump rope' competition next week with her friends [00:14:12 - 00:14:40]. The recording contains a brief conversation with a girl who describes a chasing game that she plays. She explains that the game is a little like 'London Bridge' and involves one player putting their hands against the wall to create an archway. The other players must then run through this arch and chase one another. One player is the 'cheater' and the other players represent 'other scary monsters'. These monsters must then chase and try to catch the 'cheater' because 'he's always cheating everyone else' [00:14:41 - 00:16:35].

  • Description

    Item notes: Recording of children demonstrating songs and discussing playground games with Iona Opie and an interview with Frances Smith from North Carolina, USA. Speakers' notes: Group of London schoolchildren. Interviewee's notes: Frances Smith from North Carolina, USA. Recording notes: Rumble (presumed motor noise) from 00:02-00:09 (approx.) and 15:49 (approx.)-end. Otherwise good throughout.

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